Monday, August 11, 2008


OK - a couple of pics for your viewing pleasure. Here I am on he start line about to do a 500 metre time trial at Dunc gray Velodrome on Friday night 8th August.

That's Brad Cox (Lionel's son) doing his best to lift my considerable mass off the ground so I can get the pedals in the right place for a start.

Normally I'm a natural left foot starter, so I need to re-learn the start using the right leg. I suppose I could try to start with the prosthetic leg but the forces are highest on the first push down and I think using my good leg first makes sense.

On my first start attempt I pulled my prosthetic "foot" out of the pedal so I had to roll around for a second go. No issues second time out of the blocks. You can see the way the pylon of my leg attaches directly to the pedal. It is like having a pedal cleat placed directly under your ankle, just forward of the heel.

And here I am at some stage on my way to a world of suffering as I try to hang on after lap 1.

Lap 1 was OK, not quite as fast as I thought I might go, but it's a start and I can only get better from here.

Lap 2 was pretty forgettable, I really tried to keep it going but I have no anaerobic endurance whatsoever (understandably) and well it wasn't a pretty sight. But I finished OK. 46.something seconds.

Track TTs are not my favourite event. But the skills involved are crucial for good trackies, so I'll keep trying to improve on that and all the other aspects of track riding.

I have been thinking about the pedal security issue (really important when riding in general but especially critical when on a fixed gear track bike - believe me I know having previously suffered a broken bone through pedal failure).

I sense a different feel when out of the saddle acelerating. The motions are different, the firing sequence is a bit different and so I'll need to re-learn so that it becomes natural again and can give it a maximal effort with confidence.

Since there is no longer an ankle on my left side to naturally manage the sideways forces caused when the bike is rocking side to side, when I push down on the left it tends to straighten the bike up more than normal - but only on that side. If I use the upper body to create the opposing force, then I get that feeling I might be putting too much lateral force on the pedal which might cause it to disengage.

So I was think of experimenting with a hard rubber bushing at the cleat to give that little bit of natural side ways flex so that the foot can pivot sideways slightly on the pedal before it attempts to disengage.

It's just another idea to play with. Each step along the way throws up new things to consider and I learn something new each time. In a weird sort of way I'm rediscovering the pleasures as everything on the bike is new again.

Other than that, it's not complicated. Just get on and pedal. Hard. For as long as you can.


Anonymous said...

Alex, I think you're a legend!